15 JANUARY 2011
|HOW MANY AFRICAN LEADERS DOES IT TAKE TO SOLVE ONE AFRICAN PROBLEM?
While the United Nations is trying to solve the increasingly violent stalemate in Cote d'Ivoire, several African leaders have appeared on the
scene, mostly to offer help finding an acceptable way out. Former South African Mbeke had offered his assistance and has come and gone. Even some
leaders who have been in power for over ten years, that is more than Mr. Gbagbo, are ironically asking him step down. There are also envoys of
various new African groupings from the AU to Hybrid/UN to ECOWAS, among other 'alphabet soups', all with little impact.
The Security Council itself has pronounced itself on this issue, clearly indicating the need to 'take appropriate measures', without getting
Laurent Gbagbo out of the Presidential Palace. No African leader or group of leaders has been able to handle this situation. It has taken on
international dimensions with the involvement of the US, Russia, China and other European Community. This brings us back to square one. Why don't
they give the Secretary-General a pivotal role? Whether special envoys would have the same significance is questionable.